Yoke and Burden
November 17, 2020
Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30).
In concluding His invitation to come to Him, Jesus states My yoke is easy and My burden is light. Reflecting back on the yoke, we understand that it is coming under the authority and will of Christ. It is salvation and, after that, living the Christ life as a co-laborer in His Kingdom.
He states that His yoke is easy. Just as ‘rest for your soul’ does not refer to a cessation of work in His Kingdom but a status of peace and tranquility as one labors in the Kingdom, so ‘My yoke is easy’ does not refer to the absence of difficulty or that which does not require great labor or effort. In the Greek language the word ‘easy’ means ‘good’ or ‘useful’, ‘kind’ or ‘gentle’. The idea here is that living and laboring under the sovereign authority of Jesus “is like feathers to a bird; not loads, but helps to motion” (Jeremy Taylor); it removes that which oppresses and creates misery in a person, i.e. sin and all its effects.
What is the ‘burden’ of which Jesus speaks? What is ‘My burden’? It is not the burden of Jesus, but the burden of man under the authority of Jesus. What is the Christian’s burden? What the yoke is to the ox, the burden is to the Christian. The yoke enables the ox to pull the load, to work, to be of service. That’s it’s burden. The Christian’s burden is one of service, laboring in the Kingdom of Christ, sharing the Gospel with others, leading people to faith in the Lord. It is summed up in Matthew 28:18-20, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go (participle: ‘as you go’; i.e. as you live your life) therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Ministry in the Kingdom of Jesus Christ is a life-style - it's being a witness for Him in every facet, in every activity, in every phase of a Christian’s life. That’s why it is not ‘burdensome’, heavy, taxing. It is ‘light’, easy, restful. In essence it is Christ living in and through the Christian. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven (Matthew 5:16).
“Thank You, Lord, for the joy You bring into my life. As I recall the years we have worked together I realize You have been the One who carried the load, You have been the One who has given me the opportunity to serve You in the church and in the Kingdom. I have found over the years that Your sovereign authority has indeed brought me peace and tranquility, and the burden of ministry has been enjoyable and rewarding. I pray our work together will continue to be one of joy, peace and fruitfulness. To Your honor and glory I ask, Amen.”